My interest in this book / trilogy began when I saw the film ‘Annihilation’ on Netflix. I thought it was an interesting story and I wanted to read the book, if there was one. Little did I know that the ‘book’ was in fact a trilogy called the Southern Reach. I decided to read it. In part because I found the film version fascinating, and in part because I love a good trilogy.
At this point it is only prudent to point out that if you haven’t seen the film or read the books you might not want to read any further. I don’t want to give anything away, or at least that’s not my intention, but you never know.
I really enjoyed the film. I had no expectations of it at all and no idea what the story was about, but after watching it I realised that it had some very interesting concepts. Hence wanting to read the book(s). Of course, as with any movie made from a book as the original source material, the book is often better, or at least adds a great deal of context. Even more so with the South Reach Trilogy. In fact, the books add so much that they make a lot of the story make sense. Having said that, in the trilogy, the story is complicated, or rather the core concept is complicated, or perhaps a better word is dense, or even impenetrable.
I think that I enjoyed reading the books. In a way they shed no real light on the film, and the film sheds no light on the books. The books to add a lot of context though. I enjoyed both. With both I am wondering what happens next. Perhaps that in itself is a good thing. Perhaps that in a sense, is the point.
I recently finished reading this, the fourth book in the ‘Wayfarers’ collection of stories by Becky Chambers. I think that it is probably the one that I have enjoyed the most, and, in case you are actually reading this, I am not going to spoil anything for you should you choose to read it for yourself, at least, that is my intention.
The first in the series was bought for me as a gift. It was a very good gift. I can safely say that I have enjoyed all of these books in different ways. However, I think I have enjoyed this last book in the series the most of all.
I will avoid telling you about anything that actually happens in the story. If you’re interested, you should read it. I can thoroughly recommend it. What I will tell you about this book is that I found it thoroughly moving, touching and wonderful. It is full of hope and tenderness and kindness. It made me smile, it brought me to tears and after reading it I now want to read the three previous books again.
I’ve been a fan of Space 1999 since I was a kid. I just loved it. The idea was awesome, the show was awesome, but it only got two seasons, which was a shame really.
I’d hoped for a long time that Big Finish would bring it back, and they did. Releasing the first story “Breakaway” on the 13th of September last year. The date was significant. In the series the 13th of September was the date that the moon left earth’s orbit. Of course, that was back in 1999, so Big Finish releasing it on the 13th of September 2019 marked 20 years since the original story’s event.
The new version is excellent. It keeps to the original story but brings in a few new elements. I’ve listened to it twice now and it’s simply excellent.
It’s only right isn’t it. I’m a fan and I feel that I should dedicate post number 1999 to Space 1999. I’m still slowly making my way through season 2, and if that wasn’t enough I’m not sure that I’ve finished reading the comic editions on comixology either. Perhaps I need to make a bit…
I updated my Blake’s 7 library after Christmas as Big Finish was having a sale on a range of titles. One that I bought was the Liberator Chronicles 8. As a collection of four stories it was fine. Nothing bad in there, nothing amazing. That is until the last story in the collection. The last story in this collection is called ‘Spoils’.
I’m not going to spoil the story in case you plan to listen to it, but, I have to say it was probably one of the most interesting and unusual stories in the Blake’s 7 range I’ve ever heard.
I’ll leave it there. If you do listen to it, I think you’ll be surprised.
Over Christmas I watched all of the Planet of the Apes movies again. To be clear it was the new movies and not the originals.
They are amazing films, and, as you progress through the trilogy, they just get better and better. With ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ being a true masterpiece.
I’m just hopeful that it doesn’t end there. There’s so much potential to take the series further and explore what happens next. Of course the original films start at a different point and move over a very long period of time.
In effect any new series could pick up where the original series started. That is of course just one possibility. The big question is what will happen with the astronauts who left the earth in the first of the new trilogy. That question was left open throughout the series.
However you look at it, there are countless ways the series could continue. I just hope that it does.
Disney’s film “The Black Hole” was their response to “Star Wars”. I can remember going to the cinema to see it, and the memory of it has always stayed with me. So much so that I found a copy of the film on eBay a few years ago and watched it again.
More recently I thought I’d get hold of a copy of the book, or rather, the novelisation of the film and try that. I finished reading it just the other day, and, on the whole, it is a fairly true reflection of the film itself. However, just as in the film, the ending, leaves quite a lot to be desired.
But the most confusing thing was the ending. The end sequence of the film seems to suggest that there is somewhere inside the black hole, and that’s where Dr Reinhardt and his evil robot Maximilian appear to be merged. It pretty much looks like hell though. The ending also seems to suggest that the crew of the Palomino make it through the black hole (can you go through a black hole?) and come out the other side.
One of the things that was a bit odd about the story were several references to how much things cost. This was in the film and the book. On a series of occasions characters referred to how much the Cygnus (the huge spaceship in the picture above) cost the tax payer. I felt that this was a bit strange and kind of out of place.
Although the book suggests that they have some kind of merged consciousness by the time they come through it.
All parts of this ending are pretty much unsatisfactory though. Even as a kid I wasn’t happy with this, and I’m still not happy with it. I felt like it required something more in terms of an outcome that could be comprehended. Of course, there will never be a remake now, or at least that’s very unlikely I would think. Depending on which source you check the remake was being considered in 2006 or 2009, but by 2016 was ruled out.
It’s a shame, it’s a missed opportunity I think, but never mind. The music was awesome.
One of my all time favourite 4th Doctor episodes is “The Robots of Death”. It’s a great story and has some truly fantastic lines. It has been followed up a couple of times as far as I’m aware. One of the follow ups was “Corpse Marker“, a BBC audio book which I was really excited about, but fundamentally didn’t deliver on its promise and was, in the end, a real disappointment.
The next one I’m away of is “Robophobia”, which is a 7th Doctor story from Big Finish. I’m not a big 7th Doctor fan and so I haven’t heard this one. Perhaps I should give it a listen.
Now there’s “Sons of Kaldor”, the first story in the latest season of the 4th Doctor from Big Finish. I was a bit nervous about this story. I didn’t want to face the same disappointment as I had with “Corpse Market“. I didn’t need to worry about that. “Sons of Kaldor” has a very similar tone and pace to the original Robots of Death, it’s been carefully thought through and at its core it’s a good story.
The most important thing is that I really enjoyed it, and it’s a good start to volume one of this season. I’ve now listened to all of the stories and they’re a good bunch, and well worth listening to.
It seems amazing that Blake’s 7 is 40 years old now. I can remember being so excited to see each episode when it came on TV every week. I’m still a big fan, and looking forward to hearing the new stories coming from Big Finish.
I watched season one after reading the first book, Leviathan Wakes, which I really enjoyed. The TV series is no way as good as the books, and I think the TV show doesn’t do the best job of making sense of what isn’t a terribly complex story. I’m much more at home with the books now.
Season 2 was ok. Not amazing again, but certainly in keeping with the first season. Apparently season 3 is already being filmed, which is a good thing I believe. I’ll certainly watch it.